(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)
There was nothing funnier in our politics the past week than the sudden discovery by our respectable conservatives that the Republican Party has been a comfortable home for white-supremacist meatheads like Steve King (R-Berchtesgarden) of Iowa. Ben Shapiro nearly sprained an intestine trying to get back onto safe ideological ground, and Max Boot continues to be shocked, shocked, by the whole business.
This, of course, is a tributary of the great flowing river Lethe of conservative memory loss in which they are hoping this whole administration* can be lost to memory forever, and that nobody will remember that 40 years of conservative politics made someone like this president* not merely possible, but inevitable. We're all just lucky that he turned out to be a boob, too. Grant the conservatives who came before him the blessings of forgetfulness, however, and we may not be as lucky the next time.
One of the interesting things about Sherrod Brown's potential presidential candidacy is that his success as a Democratic senator from Ohio pretty much puts the lie to the theory that Democratic statewide officeholders in red-states have to be apostates in order to survive in office. (I am looking at you, Joe Manchin.) It often is argued that Democratic politicians caught in that bind have no choice but to do things like vote for Brett Kavanaugh or take a dive on climate-related votes. Brown's continued success as an out-front progressive is a kind of refutation of that idea, and, if he runs for president and succeeds in the rest of the former industrial midwest the way he has in Ohio, then a lot of calculations are going to have to be reviewed.
Big problems here for shirtless lunatic Alex Jones. The Sandy Hook families are going to get a look at his books. From ABC News:
A judge in Connecticut has granted the families’ discovery requests, allowing them access to, among other things, InfoWars’ internal marketing and financial documents. The judge has scheduled a hearing next week to decide whether to allow the plaintiffs’ attorneys to depose Jones. The families sued Jones and InfoWars for defamation and accused him of perpetuating a “monstrous, unspeakable lie: that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged and that the families who lost loved ones that day are actors who faked their relatives’ deaths.”
If the parents get to question Jones himself, I'd put that deposition in Gampel Pavilion at UConn and sell tickets. At the very least, it should be televised nationally.
The ripple effects of the shutdown have gone into outer space. My Favorite Machine is having a hiccup and nobody can fix it right now.
“This is when everyone gets a reminder about two crucial aspects of space exploration,” Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, wrote on Twitter.
“[One,] complex systems like [the Hubble Space Telescope] only work due to a dedicated team of amazing experts,” he explained. “[Two,] all space systems have finite lifetimes and such issues are bound to happen from time to time.”
Wide Field Camera 3, installed in 2009, is equipped with redundant electronics that can be used to recover the instrument. But not until mission operators return to work at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, where employees are on involuntary leave during the closure.
This malfunction follows another glitch in October, when one of the telescope’s three active gyroscopes failed, forcing HST into safe mode. Operations were returned to normal three weeks later, following the successful recovery of a backup device.
The reverse Midas Touch of this president* now has left the planet.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho" (Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit To The Pathé Archives: From 1924, here are 11 ships racing each other to be the first to land immigrants in the United States. People used to compete to bring the newest citizens to this country as fast as they could. Times change, I guess. History is so cool.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Forbes? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!
But it wasn't a good day for dinosaurs, alas.
The Chicxulub asteroid was 9 miles wide and changed the course of life on Earth dramatically. Geologists mark the asteroid impact with a change in the geologic time period from the Cretaceous to the Paleogene for its significant impact on life and geology around the globe. The asteroid hit the modern-day Yucatán Peninsula in shallow seas and immediately transformed the landscape. The impact created a mile-deep crater, blasting away sediment, Earth's crust and water. The impact crater then refilled with ocean water rushing in, forming secondary waves as they all collided at the center of the crater.
To understand what the tsunami looked like, researchers modeled the impact, taking into account historical land and ocean topography. They found that a mile-high tsunami likely formed from the impact. To put this into perspective, the largest wave ever recorded in modern times was in May 2018 when a 78-foot-tall wave hit nearby New Zealand. The tsunami created from the asteroid impact was 68 times its size...
...As if the tsunami wasn't enough, the asteroid impact created shock waves in Earth's crust that traveled across continents and threw up enough rock and dust into the atmosphere to cause friction-induced lightning, start forest fires, cook animals alive, block out the sun for years and rain sulfuric acid. When the dust settled and Earth began to rebuild, 75% of all species on Earth had died. Yet, life on Earth still found a way to rebound. The sudden disappearance of three quarters of life on Earth introduced opportunities for the surviving organisms to flourish and genetically branch into new species. The absence of competitors led to a prolific divergence in species, introducing what would eventually become modern horses, whales, primates, etc.
Friction lightning and sulfuric rain are not things you put on your Yelp entry for planets, I'm guessing. (Although it is kind of like the poisoned paradise planet that the space hippies found on Star Trek.) Luckily, however, dinosaurs lived long enough then to make us happy now.
The Committee was rather alarmed at how fluent in Trumpian patois Top Commenter Peter Piper had become, but they gave him this week's award anyway for his masterful explanation of ancient devices beyond the wall and the wheel.
Nothing like a wall unless its a lever now a lever is as old as a wheel it might actually be older than a wheel but it's definitely older than a wall and in Medieval times they used levers to throw shit over walls which is why it has to be 30 feet high or the drug dealers will build catapults which aren't as old as the wheel but might be older than a wall to throw drugs over the wall but if we use steel slats instead of concrete we can see them and shoot flaming arrows at them which is very impressive especially at night which is when the drug dealers come out.
We're all getting far too good at this. Anyway, 79.22 Beckhams to you, good sir.
I'll be back on Monday, at which point we may be in a national emergency besides the obvious one we've been living in for two years now. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake line, and try not to listen to the cockpit warning alarm that won't shut itself off.
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